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2 Changing Views on the Origins of the Sámi

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Chapter Summary

This chapter takes a closer look at the discourse regarding the origins of the Sámi from the seventeenth century to the present day. It discusses how people have arrived at different answers to this question, and points to some of the circumstances that have caused a change in opinions. Finally, the chapter shows how cultural-historical research looks at this question today and presents the author's view on the emergence of Sámi ethnicity. An important archaeological study in terms of the origins of the Sámi was also published in the period 1910 to 1960. The author considers that ethnicity, and accordingly Sámi ethnicity, is a form of cultural identity that is created and maintained through contacts with other groups. As shown, this is a relatively recent perspective in the interpretation of how people or ethnic groups come into being and how the boundaries between them are maintained.

Keywords: cultural-historical research; ethnic groups; Sámi ethnicity



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